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Dealing with Conflict During Your Divorce
(provided by Joseph F. Dillon, MBA)
Dealing with conflict is never easy especially when it comes to dealing with conflict related to your divorce. Below you will find a few strategies for dealing with conflict during your divorce.
Dealing with Conflict: Tip #1 - Remain Calm!
When it comes to divorce, fighting fire with fire isn't the best tactic for dealing with conflict. Sure you might think that you're going to get taken advantage of if you don't scream and yell but the reality is at the end of the day the law is the law and so your settlement is going to look the same no matter how you behave. I see this frequently when each party has their own legal representation and the layers and the parties are slugging it out and getting nowhere. In this case: no one is calm!
Dealing with Conflict: Tip #2 - Focus on the Situation, Not the Person
If someone is yelling at you, no matter what they're telling you, chances are you're going to react in an unfavorable way. One of the divorce mediators I work with has a saying I love. He says "the parties were in violent agreement." Think about that statement! They're yelling at each other so much they don't even realize they're saying the exact same thing. Notice it wasn't the message but rather the messenger. So when it comes to dealing with conflict, ignore the tone of the other party's voice or their body language and focus on the situation.
Dealing with Conflict: Tip #3 - A Powerful Question
Let me ask you a question. Would you rather be happy or right? When it comes to dealing with conflict this is a critical question you need to be asking yourself constantly as the conflict unfolds and you find yourself embroiled in it (whether you want to or not). By its very nature divorce can set up a classic win-lose equation where somebody has to be wrong so that somebody can be right but really at the end of the day, where does this get you? Is there really a "winner" in divorce? (the answer would be no by the way). Be happy and move on. Case closed.
Dealing with Conflict: Tip #4 - Be Solutions Oriented
A typical example is when one side makes an offer and the other side rejects it flat out without any explanation why. Perhaps the offer wasn't in the realm of reasonableness, but can you at least give the other side credit for putting something out there in the first place? At a minimum, while it may not have been to your liking, it was a possible solution, even if it wasn't a good one! At the end of the day, no one likes dealing with conflict so while it may not make you feel any better, just know the other side is just as scared, angry and upset as you are.
And while I know it's easier said than done, by keeping these simple tips in mind you can get through your divorce with as little harm to you and your family as possible.
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